Max Verstappen singled out his successful weekend at Imola as a very important moment in his 2022 Formula Title defending campaign after a shaky start.
Red Bull’s RB18 was a fast car at the start of the 2022 season, maybe not as fast as Ferrari’s F1-75 at the beginning, but it was also somehow brittle.
That meant that Max Verstappen had two DNF’s in the first three races leading to the 2022 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix, his RB18 breaking down n Bahrain and Australia.
Verstappen took pole, and won the Sprint Race, and went on to win the race as well, bagging the fastest lap point on his way to the chequered flag, and he feels that result was very important for him and Red Bull as to how the season developed after that.
Speaking to Formula 1‘s official website about his season, Verstappen said: “We had a pretty terrible start to the year, so at the time, I thought we would not be able to really fight for the championship.
“But things really turn [around] very quickly, and the car became even more competitive,” the double F1 Champion pointed out.
It’s been a crazy year
“It’s been a crazy year for us in terms of wins and it’s been really, really enjoyable. It’s something, of course, I would have never imagined at the start of the year,” he reflected.
Asked to pinpoint the weekend where he though was a turning point, the Dutchman said: “The Imola weekend was very good; we had a really strong weekend. Then, of course, the gap [to Leclerc] was slowly reducing – that’s normally always a good sign.
“At the time we couldn’t afford any more retirements. Of course, the gap [we built became] very big, so we could have had retirements, but at the time, after already two DNFs so early on in the year, we turned it around very quickly.
“Honestly, I don’t really remember what race I thought that it was back on, but I think for us, as a team, Imola was a very important weekend, to have that kind of result,” Verstappen concluded.
Verstappen ended up clinching his second F1 Title consecutively, after winning a record 15 races per season.
How 2022 started 😔 How 2022 ended 🤩 #F1 pic.twitter.com/bUlI6AXSpu
— Oracle Red Bull Racing (@redbullracing) November 22, 2022